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January 31, 2014

Menendez Flood Insurance Premium Relief Bill Passed by Senate

Dear Mayor:

Yesterday in Washington, the U.S. Senate passed S.1926, which will delay sharp increases in flood insurance rates for millions of property owners in coastal and flood-prone areas.

In 2012, President Obama signed into law the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12). The new law was designed to make the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) more financially stable, by reflecting true flood risks in communities. Unanticipated consequences of the Act, including rapidly increasing flood insurance premiums in affected communities, became apparent in the aftermath of a series of natural disasters, including Hurricane Sandy.

In response to five- to ten-fold premium increases, the National League of Cities (NLC) and scores of local leaders urged Congress to delay flood insurance rate increases on grandfathered properties called for in BW-12. At our Conference last November, League members approved New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference Resolution No. 2013-11 – a Resolution Recommending Amendments to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. The delay will allow FEMA to complete its affordability study and Congress can act on those recommendations.

The bill, which was co-sponsored by our Senator Robert Menendez and by Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia, passed on a vote of 67-32.

Although the effort had strong bipartisan support in the Senate, it has been opposed by a number of special interests, including fiscal conservatives, environmental groups, bipartisan research organizations and budget watchdog groups. As a result, it faces uncertain prospects in the House.

We thank Senator Menendez for his leadership on this effort, as well as Senator Booker for his backing. Please contact your Congressman, requesting his support on this matter.

If you have any questions, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121 or

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director



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